Eurovision odds: Bookies in top five triumph

by Richard West-Soley 2,394 views

Throughout our series tracking this year’s Eurovision odds, we have regularly added the caveat that bookmakers often get it wrong. However, a comparison between the pre-final odds and actual result reveals a startlingly accurate prediction this year.

The combined favourites across bookies, as given by on the afternoon of the Eurovision Song Contest 2015 final, were as follows:

  1. Sweden
  2. Russia
  3. Italy
  4. Belgium
  5. Australia

Not only did punters and bookmakers collectively predict the top five, but also its exact order – a rare triumph of forecasting.

Beyond Australia, thing are still looking good for the bookies; they have Estonia, Serbia, Norway and Latvia right outside the top five, although in the wrong order. Their biggest oversight is Israel, which they swap for Azerbaijan in the top ten. Nonetheless, Israel is only a couple of places out. Nine of of ten correct placings at the top of the board is an impressive feat, especially given some of the failed favourites of recent years.

A glance at the bottom of the pre-contest favourites table suggests that they were also onto something with Germany and Austria; both hover precariously above Montenegro and Poland as least favourited to win, although the latter two would come to beat Germany and Austria’s nil on the night.

Remarkable accuracy

There were a few very mild surprises mid-table; Spain seriously underperformed according to the bookies’ expectations, for example, which placed Edurne in the top half of the favourites, and Cyprus sank lower on the night than the bets had forecast.

However, it detracts only very little from the predictive success of betting markets this year. The remarkable accuracy of the 2015 pool will certainly make people take the bookies’ favourites very seriously in the 2016 contest!